Finding a Web hosting provider seems like a difficult job. You think you’ve found a provider, but then another one offers some Web hosting features a little different than the first provider. So you have to decide what to do. Many of the features you won’t even use. A Web host provider will add a lot of features to your package to make it enticing. Instead of talking about all the features, I will discuss which ones are important. If you have a simple website, you can combine these features with a cheap web hosting package and be okay. Below are the most important features.
1. Disk Space
One of the biggest concerns you may have is how much disk space(also disk storage or web space) you may need. It all depends on how your website is created. First, let me tell you that Web host providers will show you disk space they provide you in either GB(gigabyte) or MB(megabyte). 1 GB equals 1024 MBs. A website with text only can get by with about 20 megabytes. However, if you add graphics and videos, you will need more disk space. The more things you add to your website, the more disk space you will need.
Bandwidth(or data transfer) is the amount of information your website can deliver to visitors that surf your site. When someone surfs your website or downloads anything from your site, they are using bandwidth. A Web hosting provider usually gives you a month to month supply of bandwidth. If you are planning on having a website with few visitors, then the minimum bandwidth allowed by your provider(between 1GB and 5GBs) should be enough.
Here is some information you need to know when you are calculating bandwidth:
1024 Byte = 1 Kilobyte (KB); 1024 Kilobyte(KB) = 1 Megabyte(MB) ; 1024 Megabyte = 1 Gigabyte(GB)
Note: Some Web host providers don’t calculate bytes in 1024’s. They instead use 1000 to make it easier. This is something to remember if your calculations are a little different than the providers. You should ask your provider if you want to know which number they use.
FTP(File Transfer Protocol) is a method of transferring files from one computer to another. This gives you the ability to upload your website to your Web hosting provider. In addition, it makes life easier because you can copy lots of files at one time.
4. Customer Service
Technical Support is very important. You should find a company that gives you 24/7 customer service. You may have some issues with your website that need to get taken care of right away. The longer the wait, the more potential visitors to your website you could be losing.
5. Email Services
You definitely want to have email access so you won’t have to give your personal email address to visitors of your website. You should get a few email addresses to use for different reasons.
6. Site Statistics
Site Statistics are important because you can keep track of how many people are visiting your website. Therefore, you can know how well your site is doing. In addition, you will be able to determine how much bandwidth is being used.
If you find a cheap web hosting plan, it doesn’t mean you can’t rely on them. Furthermore, you should have a provider you can count on to keep your website up and running. Most web host can guarantee your site will be up and running 99.9% of the time. If you come across a web host that guarantees less uptime, I wouldn’t recommend you use their services.
These seven features, in my opinion, are features you should have for a basic website. Now if you are planning on doing more than putting basic information on your site, then you should look at other features that may pertain with what you are going to do. For example, if you’re going to run programs on your website, then you will need to look into the different types of scripts(PHP, CGI, PERL, SSI, etc….). Another example is if you are doing business online then you want to have security on your site like SSL. As I said earlier, there are a lot of features that come with your web host package, but most of them you won’t need. If you need more than the seven listed above, chances are you already know what you need because you will have built your website around those features. These seven are for a person who wants to put a basic website together, with information about their business. Now all you need to do is find an affordable web hosting provider to go with these features and you are on your way.